HN Gopher Feed (2017-06-29) - page 2 of 10
EFF's Letter to Zillow on Behalf of McMansion Hell [pdf]
135 points by harryhhttps://www.eff.org/files/2017/06/29/wagner_eff_letter_to_zillow...
rewrew - 2 hours ago
So much in here is interesting (and right), but the best part I
think comes at the end: Zillow doesn't own the images. So whether
or not you there's a legal argument for fair use, Zillow has
absolutely no right to file a copyright case in the first place
because they don't own the images. As the EFF rightly points out,
there is no "super copyright" that Zillow can exercise here. Really
good stuff overall on fair use, but love that nice whopper at the
pyre - 1 hours ago
The "super copyright" comment has less to do with their ownership
of the copyright, and more to do with the rest of the context
about the owners not being able to exert copyright claims due to
fair use. (This of course is predicated on the assertion that the
usage does fall under fair use.) The "super copyright" comment is
alluding to Zillow attempting to assert something that even the
original owners cannot (i.e. a "superset" of copyright rights).
naturalgradient - 2 hours ago
Curious question: Why does it say CC Christopher Poole at the
bottom of the letter? As in, the founder of 4chan?
jzl - 1 hours ago
Subtle way of saying "Your argument is moot."
harryh - 2 hours ago
The author of the original cease and desist from Zillow was a
lawyer coincidentally named Christopher Poole. I wonder how many
4chan jokes he gets?
drivingmenuts - 2 hours ago
So, this is what it looks like when you stick your metaphorical
head into a buzzsaw ...
CptJamesCook - 2 hours ago
Zillow has been threatening small startups for years. Most just go
away quietly. It's good to see people fighting back on their
db48x - 7 minutes ago
There is a difference between a business and social
commentary/satire. (But that doesn't mean they're not bullies.)
fwefwwfe - 32 minutes ago
eff.org Offline For Maintenance We're currently offline for server
maintenance. Please check back soon.2017-06-29
seomint - 30 minutes ago
I am grateful for the EFF and the work they do taking on Internet
copyright bullies. Well done.
mmanfrin - 2 hours ago
There is so little differentiating the real estate finding websites
that something like this is enough for me to suggest to my home-
searching friends to use a different service.
huntermeyer - 2 hours ago
Zillow Group owns Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, RealEstate.com, and
others. What else is there?
kevinrpope - 1 hours ago
There's also realtor.com, which is the official site of the
National Association of Realtors.
colinbartlett - 1 hours ago
There's StreetEasy here in NYC... oh wait, that is ALSO owned
drewrv - 1 hours ago
Redfin, whose UI I liked more than Zillows back when I was
buying a house.
drenvuk - 1 hours ago
There's also openlistings. I don't like their search function
as much as Zillow's but you can still find a decent selection
in some markets.
ChuckMcM - 1 hours ago
Man I love a good smack down letter :-). This one is typical of the
genre, in terms of content and well executed. I particularly like
that they cite the Righthaven LLC case because a really good letter
points out all the scumbags who have tried to do what you are
trying to do and lets the reader know you think they are scumbags
without actually having to call that out directly.I wonder if they
would be interested in writing a letter to the "JustPrintIt 3D"
people. (see video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPnhkQZ9fzM)
francisofascii - 1 hours ago
I still don't understand what Zillow hoped to achieve by this.
Zillow displays all types of housing, right? If anything, Kate's
site gave Zillow free advertising.
clavalle - 1 hours ago
Some of their clients, realtors, probably complained that their
listings were being used as bad examples and were shown as coming
harryh - 2 hours ago
Some previous discussion on this topic:1) Zillow's 1st letter to
Ms. Wagner: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=146399082)
Commentary on the wrongness of Zillow's 2nd letter to Ms. Wagner:
vadym909 - 20 minutes ago
Thanks EFF. Should I ever get a threatening letter from a Big Corp,
I'm def going to use this letter as a template to respond and save
myself some lawyer fees.
ilamont - 15 minutes ago
I thought this was particularly interesting:Third, Zillow cannot
leverage its agreements with third parties to assert some kind of
?super copyright? that overrides fair use. The original copyright
owners could not deny Wagner permission to make fair use of the
photographs. See Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 815 F.3d 1145, 1152
(9th Cir. 2016) (a fair use is not an infringement of copyright).
Zillow, which does not even own the relevant copyrights, cannot
then assert rights that the original copyright owners could not
assert.If only more platforms, publishers, and creators took this
concept to heart.
colinbartlett - 2 hours ago
I just renewed my EFF membership and would encourage others to do
so as well.
carrier_lost - 2 hours ago
I had not heard the term "browsewrap" before this but that part is
very interesting in and of itself.
samgranieri - 10 minutes ago
Thank you EFF!
tanderson92 - 1 hours ago
Update: Zillow won't pursue any legal action.> In a brief
statement, Zillow said it will ?not pursue any legal action.?>
"We?ve had a lot of conversations about this, including with
attorneys from the EFF, whose advocacy and work we respect. EFF has
stated that McMansion Hell won?t use photos from Zillow moving
forward. It was never our intent for McMansion Hell to shut down or
for this to appear as an attack on Kate?s freedom of expression. We
acted out of an abundance of caution to protect our partners?the
agents and brokers who entrust us to display photos of their
djrogers - 1 hours ago
Wait, so Zillow agreed to back down but McMansion Hell can't
continue their (clearly legal) fair use of images fro Zillow's
site? How is that a win for anyone but Zillow?
tempestn - 1 hours ago
Whether they _could_ is an open question. They voluntarily
agreed not to, presumably since there are other sources for
those images, so it isn't worth picking a fight over. The real
hardship would have been in removing and replacing all the old
rickpmg - 1 hours ago
But isn't the EFF supposed to pick the fights based on
principals? By agreeing to this compromise they really just
gave all the Zillow's of the world more confidence that
strong-arm tactics work.
harryh - 56 minutes ago
It's not the EFF's fight to pick, it's Kate Wagner's (the
proprietor of the blog). It's pretty easy to imagine her
not wanting to deal with a prolonged fight.
brainfire - 54 minutes ago
Perhaps it's less "fine, I won't use it anymore if you
don't sue" and more "I've decided to stop advertising your
service for free on my website regardless of the outcome of
this," and Zillow deciding to use the opportunity to gently
remove their corporate dick from this particular beehive.
bayonetz - 37 minutes ago
burkaman - 18 minutes ago
"moving forward" means future posts won't use Zillow images,
but she doesn't have to take down any existing posts.
non_sequitur - 6 minutes ago
Because Zillow is ultimately right here and her use of the
images without Zillow's permission is against their terms of
use (which contrary to the hand-wavy analysis in EFF's letter,
is absolutely enforceable). However, Zillow doesnt have a lot
of damages to recover from her use and definitely wants to
avoid another big PR stink, so they get to back off gracefully,
she agrees to stop saying she gets the pictures from Zillow
(which is what they really wanted), and everything goes back to
thomasjudge - 1 hours ago
I <3 EFF
wyldfire - 2 hours ago
EFF is a public good, clearly we all benefit from them taking the
time to draft this letter. This letter is merely between attorneys
but has all of the work required for a legal brief including tons
of citations of precedent.Thanks, EFF!
Fezzik - 4 minutes ago
everyone should donate! as someone mentioned on a previous post,
they are giving away some cool swag as part of their Summer
Security Camp right now if you donate (including a sweatshirt,
with a $25 recurring monthly donation). EFF really does an
immense amount of great work.https://supporters.eff.org/donate
ncallaway - 2 hours ago
The EFF presents a fairly strong argument here.I don't think Zillow
had much of a case before, but this certainly makes it clear that
they will not be able to scare McMansion Hell into submission.
Zillow, if they want to achieve an outcome they want, will have to
press this in court where they will likely lose.Curious to see the
response from Zillow here, though I've already created my Red Fin
account and will likely not bother to go back to Zillow.